You are hereWhat is the Relevance of Preterism Today?
What is the Relevance of Preterism Today?
by Duncan McKenzie
Tony in his article "Needs Convincin" posed a very important question. Basically it is, what is the relevance of preterism today in terms of how we Christians live our lives and impact our world? I decided that this question is important enough to deserve a small column.Tony in his article "Needs Convincin" posed a very important question. Basically it is, what is the relevance of preterism today in terms of how we Christians live our lives and impact our world? I decided that this question is important enough to deserve a small column.Tony---
You have raised a very important question and I think it is getting lost in the pro/con talk about America. Let me quote the question you raise that I think is most important.---
".. I keep asking myself when reading articles and blogs on this site if anyone has anything to say about how all this theology is to be worked out in practise, what difference does it make to our lives or to our planet. Most of the contributers are American and it discourages me to think that christian men and women who live in the most feared and disliked nation in the world seem only concerned with their own spiritual existence and not with the absolute mess they are creating all over the globe. It time you all got your heads from out of your behinds and faced reality, weither or not you believe in the second coming,or the ressurection of the dead etc: there is an awful lot of Jesus's teaching that isn't being applied in our world, show me how preterism can be relevant to the needs of this planet and it's inhabitants and if you convince me ..I'll join up."---
Other than the America bashing part, this is a very important question. What does preterism mean in terms of how we as Christians should be living our lives today? You are right, this question isn't addressed much by preterists.
Basically the implications of the fact that the Second Coming happened in AD 70 are that the saints (all believers in Jesus) were given the spiritual rule of this planet at that time.
Consider Daniel 7:15-27----
15 "I, Daniel, was grieved in my spirit within my body, and the visions of my head troubled me. 16 I came near to one of those who stood by, and asked him the truth of all this. So he told me and made known to me the interpretation of these things: 17 'Those great beasts, which are four, are four kings F22 which arise out of the earth. 18 But the saints of the Most High shall receive the kingdom, and possess the kingdom forever, even forever and ever.' 19 Then I wished to know the truth about the fourth beast, which was different from all the others, exceedingly dreadful, with its teeth of iron and its nails of bronze, which devoured, broke in pieces, and trampled the residue with its feet; 20 and the ten horns that were on its head, and the other horn which came up, before which three fell, namely, that horn which had eyes and a mouth which spoke pompous words, whose appearance was greater than his fellows. 21 I was watching; and the same horn was making war against the saints, and prevailing against them, 22 until the Ancient of Days came, and a judgment was made in favor of the saints of the Most High, and the time came for the saints to possess the kingdom. 23 "Thus he said: 'The fourth beast shall be A fourth kingdom on earth, Which shall be different from all other kingdoms, And shall devour the whole earth, Trample it and break it in pieces. 24 The ten horns are ten kings Who shall arise from this kingdom. And another shall rise after them; He shall be different from the first ones, And shall subdue three kings. 25 He shall speak pompous words against the Most High, Shall persecute F23 the saints of the Most High, And shall intend to change times and law. Then the saints shall be given into his hand For a time and times and half a time. 26 'But the court shall be seated, And they shall take away his dominion, To consume and destroy it forever. 27 Then the kingdom and dominion, And the greatness of the kingdoms under the whole heaven, Shall be given to the people, the saints of the Most High. His kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, And all dominions shall serve and obey Him.'---
The fourth beast was Rome (some would say Greece, but that would mean that the kingdom of God was fully established in the 2nd century BC; that doesnt fit.) Without getting bogged down in who the little horn was (I am writing a book on that), it was at the Second Coming (Dan. 7:22) that the saints were given the kingdom of God (the spiritual rule of this planet). This is also shown in Revelation. The one who overcame (i.e. stayed true to Jesus to the time of His Second Coming cf.Rev. 12:11) would be given power over the nations.
"And he who overcomes and keeps My works until the end to him I will give power over the nations."
This same concept of entering into rule with Jesus over the nations is found in Revelation 3:21
"To him who overcomes I will grant to sit with Me on My throne, as I also overcame and sat down with My Father on His throne."
Too often preterists give the sense that everything ended at AD 70. The truth is that the believer's kingdom reign in this world fully started at that time; the kingdom reign was fully given to the believer at AD 70. Let me quote Dan. 7:22 and 27 again.---
22. ...the Ancient of Days came, and a judgment was made in favor of the saints of the Most High and the time came for the siants to possess the kingdom.
27"Then the kingdom and dominion, And the greatness of the kingdoms under the whole heaven, Shall be given to the people, the saints of the Most High. His kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, And all dominions shall serve and obey Him.'"---
So how do we reign with Jesus. I would say that we do so by prayer, sharing God's word and sharing God's love (in both word and deed). I think the primary way we reign is by prayer. I believe the essence of prayer is still that God's will be done on earth as it is in heaven. If all we do is pray however then we are not doing enough. I believe that we are also called to make a tangible difference in our world. That is why I say we share God's love in both word and deed. We all have different ways we can do this right where we are at.
What preterists should be doing today is getting off our behinds, getting on our knees and then going out and making a practical difference in our world. If we don't do this then our preterism is mostly a mental exercise. Tony, assuming you are a Christian, you should be doing the same thing. Do a little less America bashing and a lot more praying. By the way Tony, this column was not really meant to convince you; it is more to admonish my preterist brethren. God Bless.